If you’re suffering from migraines, stress, insomnia, fibromyalgia, PMS or menstrual cramps, it may be helpful to try and incorporate more magnesium into your diet. Research shows us that these are just some of the conditions that can be helped by increasing magnesium intake. Magnesium helps by relaxing the blood vessels, nervous system and tight muscles. It truly is the relaxation mineral! Here is a great list of foods you can eat with high levels of magnesium.
I recommend getting your magnesium primarily from food, instead of just supplements.
Here are some foods with the highest amounts of magnesium:
Food Serving size Daily Value
Pumpkin Seeds 0.25 cup 45%
Spinach 1 cup 37%
Swiss Chard 1 cup 36%
Soybeans 1 cup 35%
Sesame Seeds 0.25 cup 30%
Black Beans 1 cup 29%
Quinoa 0.75 cup 28%
Cashews 0.25 cup 28%
Sunflower Seeds 0.25 cup 27%
Beet Greens 1 cup 23%
Navy Beans 1 cup 23%
Pinto Beans 1 cup 20%
Brown Rice 1 cup 20%
Oats 0.25 cup 16%
Almonds 0.25 cup 15%
Green Peas 1 cup 13%
Summer Squash 1 cup 10%
Dietary magnesium is absorbed much better than supplements. So, if you don’t mind making some small changes or additions to your diet, you can effectively get ample magnesium through the food you eat.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that we get from food, but most people usually don’t get enough of it through their diet. This important mineral is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It plays important roles in energy production, muscle contraction, neurological function, and much more.
Nearly 1 out of 10 people suffer with migraines and many seek alternative ways to help prevent them. Studies have shown that up to 50% of migraine sufferers have low magnesium levels and that taking a magnesium supplement could be an effective way to prevent headaches for some individuals. They found that daily magnesium supplementation can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
The American Migraine Foundation suggest taking 400-500mg of magnesium oxide daily to prevent migraines. Although magnesium oxide is a commonly used form of magnesium for migraine prevention, it can cause diarrhea in many people. Diarrhea can often be avoided by taking several, smaller doses throughout the day. Another option might be to take magnesium glycinate or bis-glycinate as these are easier to absorb and better tolerated by your bowels.
It’s important to remember that magnesium is just one thing that can possibly help migraines. Typically, migraines have more than just one cause, so it’s unlikely that one supplement will eliminate your migraines and the other symptoms that accompany them.
The good news is that at VIIM we have many strategies to help reduce your migraines in addition to magnesium intake. Contact us for a free consultation to find out more and have your questions answered.
Fibromyalgia is a condition involving widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, mood disorders and sleep disturbance without any known cause. Typically, symptoms are usually treated individually. In Functional Medicine we look at the root cause of problems and focus on bringing the body back into a healthier state.
In Functional Medicine, we understand that pain is a symptom, and it’s trying to tell us something. Pain usually tells us that there is likely inflammation going on in your body, and it is commonly linked to fatigue and sleep issues as well. Once you address the inflammation in your body a lot can change in the way of how you feel.
Fibromyalgia can cause significant pain that can seriously reduce one’s quality of life. If you’re living with fibromyalgia, it can be stressful, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At VIIM in Victoria, BC, we offer several helpful options for fibromyalgia sufferers. Contact us for a free 20-minute consultation to find out more.
In my practice I hear this question a lot, “Can Functional Medicine help my migraines?” I always explain to patients that all of us are different and that results vary with everyone.
In my experience however, the answer is yes! Clinically I have seen my own patients find significant and lasting migraine relief from the changes they have made.
I also personally know all to well the debilitating effects that migraines can have on your life. I used to suffer from migraines, and I have watched many family members suffer as well.
Most migraines can be greatly improved in frequency and intensity. Below I’m going to share a handful of simple approaches that can make a huge difference.
Here they are:
- Clean up your diet – cutting down or out sugar, processed foods and chemical filled foods. At the same time eat a healthier diet which is focused on whole foods and is plant based as much as possible.
- Try Magnesium. Several studies show that many migraine sufferers have low levels of magnesium. Add more magnesium rich foods to your diet like pumpkin seeds, cashews, quinoa, black beans, spinach and other dark leafy greens.
- Get regular exercise. 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day is ideal. But just start somewhere. Even a short walk around the block is still beneficial.
- Stay well hydrated. Try and keep a large water bottle or mason jar with you and sip on it all day.
- Reduce your stress. Try meditation, prayer or writing in a journal.
- Get adequate sleep. Aim for a minimum of 7-8 hours per night.
It often takes a little shift in your life, but if you do incorporate all of these suggestions and do them consistently you should find improvements over time.
As a parent with young children it feels like I talk about sleep a great deal. I also encounter patients with sleep issues frequently in my practice. Not getting a good night’s rest makes everything in life more difficult. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is a very common complaint.
Here are a couple tips that may help with your sleep:
- Develop a routine and stick to it: Waking, eating, exercising and sleeping at the same time everyday can help the body get into a rhythm. In time, this routine will help your body recognize when it’s time to sleep.
- Skip the nap: Even if you’re a bit tired, leave out the nap. Napping will throw off your internal rhythms, you’ll end up going to sleep even later at night and throw everything off even further.
- Kick the stimulants: Caffeine in any form stimulates the body and specifically the nervous system. It sends it into overdrive and it’s hard to come down off the rush. Alcohol and sugar have also been shown to have negative effects on sleep.
With some effort toward finding time to help yourself, which can be difficult, your body can gradually find a restful balance.